I sat there in the open skies looking at the Khaan a e Kaaba ; the holiest site for all Muslims. Waiting for the next prayers to begin. Having finished my planned prayers . It was perhaps time to talk or seek answers. This was my second spiritual discovery trip in my life. My theory is simple that when in confusion seek Allah’s guidance and trust me he responds. The almighty has his ways to reach out to his loved ones .
Looking at the Kaaba I had just one question in my mind that what is next . What do I have to do ? Last year when I woke up as many say miraculously after my sickness and I also belief the same . My question with Allah was “Why me?” . Perhaps the answer was a long way to come but has come I suppose. Hence I sat here in a hurriedly planned trip of Umrah to many astonishment . Sitting in the Kaaba asking myself looking for the divine answer. What have I been sent back for ? Is this it ?
As many of the readers and my critics know that I was a hard core MQM supporter till the moment that my head got cleared. Question many asked me that why an educated person like me support MQM ; a party mainly comprising of Middle Class or lower Muhajirs as elite Muhajirs chose to stay away. A fact that many a times party’s chief in exile Mr. Altaf Hussein has highlighted in frustration in his speeches so much so that he has vowed that at right time the elitist Muhajirs would be taught a lesson. We all know the reasons behind that frustration. We will cover that later.
My main reason for supporting MQM all these year laid in the fact that I strongly belief that Muhajir community is a key pillar stone of the country and their ancestors have a significant contribution in building Pakistan and they deserve better. They deserve equal representation in a country which is led by four major ethnic groups i.e. Sindhi , Punjabi, Pashtun and Balochs. Muahjirs became a diluted reality when migrated as predicted by Maulana Azad before they all left for Pakistan amongst the strong tribal and already entrenched ethnic realities of Pakistan. They have two choices that to forget all their ancestors were about and embraced the local cultures. But perhaps people forget that this was not an immigration like to US or Canada but migration to the same country which their ancestors built. Hence they chose to leave most of what they had or in some cases everything and migrated to Pakistan. Whilst Muhajirs got diluted in a heavily populated Punjab ; the Muhajirs of Sindh became a second largest ethnicity . Here in the Urban centers they established themselves until the quota system of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and the shifting of the capital to Islamabad which played key role in raising concerns amongst Muhajir elders some of whom participated in independence movement of Pakistan . Though in the 1968 they could not transcend it into any kind of ground movement . But the resentment started to build. This was all the period before I was born . But your parents and those who witnessed will relay you all this .
Decade later Mr. Altaf Hussein who felt persecution as a Muhajir at Karachi University felt the need of forming APMSO which later transpired into MQM within a decade of its formation. Muhajirs (significant majority of them) who earlier voted for PPP, PML , JI and others started converging on MQM . The Muhajir-Pathan riots, Muhajir-Sindhi riots etc etc also gave fuel to the sense of insecurity to Muhajirs as some of these incidents happened during Martial Law and they felt that the best way to survive the onslaught which began with riots during the regime of General Ayub Khan (graves of which still exist at Liaquatabad Daak Khana) is to support MQM . Altaf Hussein coined the term Muhajir no doubt who had different names like Hindustani, Urdu Speaking , UP waley , Matarwey etc etc . All kinds of Muhajirs stepped up for support and I mean all kind . Good ones and Bad ones. At the beginning of the movement it was not a contention I guess as with any party I guess in Pakistan . I will not like to divulge more into the rest of the history but I would say that Muhajirs felt resented when they were accused of Jinnahpur and everyone was being looked at suspiciously hence MQM grew more in roots than above the ground. It was during this my generation stepped forward. I joined APMSO at DJ Sind Science College in 1994 . Yes, at that time when things were going south-south for MQM. But I joined as a resentment for what I myself faced personally being a Muhajir but also seeing the things around. After finishing University with good marks and still remaining with APMSO (enlisted only) I saw many a things which were wrong but bore it personally though objected many a times to APMSO’s office bearers that the factor of “Badmaashi” with Muhajirs in a university which is comprising of 90% Muhajirs is a farce. Paid the price for it as well many times. But I always believed in the bigger cause and thought that when things become good for MQM again politically , these kind of hooligans hijacking the party will fade away and I am sure that party will be intelligent enough to realize that by bringing good people in the front.
When Gen Pervez Musharraf came into power ; he slowly eased the paddle on MQM and the party got a chance to rebuild. In the beginning ; rebuilding they did when Mustafa Kamal led City Government did wonders for the development starved city of Karachi of course funded by the Federal Government and supported by MQM’s infrastructure and on instructions of MQM leader Mr. Altaf Hussein who was now in exile for more than 10 years in 2004 . Perhaps this was the time to build the positive perception of MQM and to bring new faces in with accommodating those who sacrificed. It was quiet essential that the criminal element is not only rejected but ignored. This was the time which MQM needed to focus on to build for long term. But MQM is MQM ; some of those who were as they say were resistance heroes started using the same gun power in most of the cases if they remained in Pakistan to pursue land grabbing , ransom , parchi , bhatta etc . MQM should have immediately put a stop to this. But looks so that Mr. Altaf Hussein was kept on being fed that all is ok and intact on the ground. When the sun shines everyone makes hay. So did everyone. Money started to roll in . But those who sacrificed left behind but there were those who started to see MQM is a corporation and thought it was a good moment to earn a few bucks. Now I must remind you here that in 1997 MQM left or dumped Muhajir cause and changed it to MQM Pakistan or Muttahaida Quomi Movement. People lecture that they were about to be banned. Perhaps they are right but then why they didn’t reverted to the original slogan once the operation was over or in the elections of 2008 or 2013. Why was it after repeated drubbing that in 2014 they raised the slogan again of “Muhajir” . Politics of convenience .
Personally for me after entering IBA Karachi where politics was not allowed though some in MQM offered me to pay my fees in SZABIST and launch APMSO there. I just became a supporter as I saw things were relaxed for Muhajirs and MQM now. The flame of Muhajir never died in me. But I had no connection with them till again in 2008-9 when after May 12th 2007 incident I saw they being signaled alone though there were others. I will not say that they were innocent but were not the only perpetrators. I was personally upset on Gen Musharraf being sent out in a very unceremoniously way . My thought was that there were at least three Martial Laws before Gen Musharraf and none were persecuted like him though being an honest and a sincere man for Pakistan . I felt his only fault was that he was a Muahjir General. We all know what was the motivation of Mian Sharif (father of Nawaz Sharif) in proposing Gen Musharraf in making him the chief and after reinitiating of agitation against MQM. For me the Muhajir cause needed to be spoken for. I left Pakistan disgruntled as Gen Musharraf left the government perhaps I had a hint of the things which were to become of in Pakistan. Indeed it was chaos from the time of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination and till now.
I will not like to indulge at this stage as how I supported the party all these years as a supporter . There are a few who would acknowledge and know the facts. If it was not the case than simply MQM’s RC would not reach out to me to not to quit. So the breaking point arrived and I had to make up my mind. The question I asked myself was that a few months earlier I was forced to leave my job in Karachi for the support of MQM , Muhajir cause and Altaf Hussein. Will it be saner to leave it now and undo my sacrifice.
Hence I sat in the Khaan e Kaaba that is the present day MQM linked to Muhajir Cause as I recalled that they have failed to achieve a single point of their Manifesto from day one. Mainly the quota system and later justice for all the innocent killed as they enjoyed government both with establishment and PPP later. I am sure it would have been PMLN as well if the later was not in absolute majority in the National Assembly. So the question I asked is the MQM of all types still represent Muhajir cause ?
One Faction in Pakistan is not defending Muhajir cause but trying to defend MQM Incorporate so that their investments are safe guarded and when they get time they speak for the cause only selectively. PSP has chosen to drop it all together and it’s their right but they seek to help those Muhajirs who are in custody or missing . But they don’t for me represent Muhajir cause now. The faction run out of London. Now as I see started using Muhajir in 2014 for its continued survival and would be nothing be but a party in exile. The problem there is that though they all chant that Mr. Altaf Hussein is their leader but don’t look to follow what he instructs; the proof of which is that he resigns after every few days and come back . Perhaps some left in the exiled MQM is left know that if Altaf Hussein is gone their shops will be closed . I am sure they are all seeking alternatives since Mr. Altaf Hussein struggles with his health. Trust me when I say this Muhajir cause has taken a back burner and some actions taken will be non conducive for MQM and Muahjirs . I can’t comment further. It’s their party and their strategy. As a supporter I could have influenced that much. Sometimes I feel Altaf Hussein is hijacked and I pray to Allah to end his pains soon . The only faction which for me is a dark horse is MQM Haqiqi led by Afaq who is on ground and is still speaking for Muhajirs. But all these years of his gray politics . He though have a platform and look committed to Muhajir but seems to be ineffective as he doesn’t have a strong second tier. So effectively no Muhajir representation is on the ground.
A big vacuum exists. Muhajir frustration at the peak as we speak and this time not only in the Middle and lower classed but amongst the elites as well. The vacuum grows bigger. None of these seem to fill the vacuum. PPP will try but they are being seen as anti Muhajir as Sindhi establishment has a key role to play in Muhajir plight. PTI will fail as it becomes a Pashtun party or pro Taliban party. Both segments which Muhajirs despise. PMLN may never get foot hold . So what to do ? As Mazhar Abbas mentioned a few days earlier and so many other anchors . The vacuum is becoming ominous. So either this vacuum is filled politically or it will be useful for anti state elements in my perspective.
There was a statement by Manzoor Wassan that a new MQM will emerge out of Dubai . Perhaps he hinted at Gen Musharraf but I personally know the fact that Mr. Musharraf doesn’t have much inclination for the Muhajir cause though seems to hold soft corner belonging to the same community himself and having borne the brunt for being one. So I doubt the fifth faction if at all will again represent Muhajirs.
There are a few say that some in establishment doesn’t want to see Muahjir as an ethnic entity at all. My question to them is that until ethnicity exist in Pakistan at all levels. Instead of wiping out Muhajir ethnicity . A new form of Muhajir representation consisting of educated , honest , hard working and patriotic Muhajirs is needed in the country to fill the vacuum before as we know sometimes vacuums are highly combustible. There are many a Muhajirs who have been sidelined of side tracked or disheartened and have chosen to stay away though they have the desire for Muhajir in their heart. They still have a lot to offer to Muhajir cause to build it as a strong corner stone for a better Pakistan . I am sure that grievances of Muhajirs will be addressed and has room to be addressed by patriotic forces in Pakistan with assuriances that Muhajirs will only contribute to building the nation not otherwise.
Believe me or not as I waited for Maghrib prayers ; these thoughts kept on hitting my mind . What can I do as a patriotic Pakistani and a Muhajir to salvage the situation as I lose confidence in the same party all these years? Many reached out stemming the same resentment. My theory is simple that those who have contributed positively for the cause will always be respectable till the time that they contributed positively. The identity is not anyone’s personal property and anyways its being used or has been used to gain personal agendas only as poor Muhajir suffers across. Perhaps this is why Allah sent me back to do something about it before I go and meet him for good . But till then I swore that I will thrive to get Muhajirs their true rights within the constitution and geography of Pakistan.
Since we have announced it as likeminded grow. Many reached out positively. Many conveyed that it’s a failed cause. Many threatened and abused too. But this is exactly the point that there is no leadership left to represent the cause as of today unfortunately within Pakistan or abroad. Perhaps time that a new representation of Muahjir generation rises to ensure that they are a relevant entity within Pakistan and unite those around them and dump policy of criminality or otherwise. I have chosen and I invite all likeminded Muhajirs to join our journey . We will reach out to anyone or any party or any form of establishment to ensure that Muhajir remains a positive relevance on Pakistan with their support. For those who think the cause is lost . Step up its not late. The flame still burns. We will and shall rise again…. Pakistan Zindabad!